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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  October 21, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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shultz. "politicsnation" with al sharpton, "new york times" best selling author, starts right now. thank you, dr. dyson. and thanks to you for tuning in. i'm live tonight from chicago. tonight's lead, setting the record straight. today president obama made it clear his health care law will save lives and cut costs. and he also owned up to a problem. >> there's no sugar coating it. the website has been too slow. people have been getting stuck during the application process. nobody is more frustrated by that than i am. >> no sugar coating it. for right wingers trying to follow along, that's what we call a candid, honest assessment. but then he addressed conservatives on the right who are rooting for failure.
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>> i recognize the republicans have made blocking the affordable care act its signature idea. sometimes it seems to be the one thing that unifies the party these days. but it's time for people to stop rooting for their failure. hard working families are rooting for its success. >> it's one thing to dislike a policy, but to attack it with lies and fear is quite another thing. take the shutdown king himself. texas senator ted cruz talking about health care this weekend. it seemed not even one fact came out of his mouth. >> it is the number one job killer in this country. some people coming out of school right now can't find jobs because of obama care. single moms all over this country are being forced into part-time work trying to feed their kids on 29 hours a week because of obama care. hard-working families are getting in the mail massive premium increases on their health care that they can't afford because of obama care.
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people all over this country, seniors, people with disabilities, are getting notifications in the mail right now that they're losing their health insurance because of obama care. >> false statement after false statement and it's contagious. today a reporter from the right wing national review actually sent out this tweet. is obama care president obama's iraq war? he's equating a law designed to give 30 million americans health care to the tragedy of the iraq war? you can fix a website. you can't get back the lost lives of an unwarranted war. and how's this for exaggeration? republican senator jim inhofe who recently had successful heart surgery said this. >> you know, you're talking to
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someone right now who probably wouldn't be here if we had socialized medicine in america. >> it's the scare tactics and the fear mongering we've heard from the start. death panels, it's going to kill granny, it's communism or socialism. it's time to get out of that made-up universe and get in touch with reality. joining me now is dana milbank and joan walsh. thank you for being here. >> hi, reverend. >> thank you. >> joan, the president admitted there's a problem and that there are problems with the health care website. but he also made it clear the website is not the policy that will give health care security to millions of americans. what did you make of it? >> i thought it was great, reverend al. people were saying he was going to come out and apologize which i thought was crazy. it was set up as an apology tour. and he was really defiant and proud of what the affordable
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care act has accomplished. it is not a website. the website has a lot of problems. none of us here would dismiss that or deny that. but it's not the website. they will work out the glitches. and it's really rich for these men who've worked so long to defund or repeal obama care to deny these 30 million americans government help with health insurance. suddenly being so concerned that these people might be having trouble reaching the website, getting their applications through. it's such hypocrisy. and you saw a president who i think has learned from these five years of obstruction and isn't having it anymore. he wants it fixed. nobody wants it fixed more. but he's not going to sit there and apologize and do what a lot of people on the right -- and you know, i saw some liberal pundits who wanted him to be more apologetic. he's not going to do that anymore. he's done. >> you know, dana, the fact is there has been messups on the
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website. there have been enormous problems in glitches. and the president owned up to that. but he also said let's keep in mind that the goal here was to provide health care. listen to this. >> but i just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website. that's not what this was about. we waged this battle to make sure that millions of americans in the wealthiest nation on earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable, quality health care as anybody else. that's what this is about. >> dana, isn't it the destination of this whole policy to deal with health care for the uninsured and though we cannot excuse or minimize glitches, we shouldn't lose sight of what we are after here.
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>> well, and i think that's what the president's 27 minutes in the rose garden today were about. and it was quite an extensive sales pitch for the program. now, yes, you can take the long view and say does the signups on the website matter for a program that doesn't even take effect until next year, it may not matter as a matter of health care policy. the problem is it's opened the door for the ted cruzs of the world to say i told you obama care was a train wreck. and if that website is, there's a problem there, they think it'll give legitimacy to their argument that all these other things that aren't necessarily true are also problems with obama care. so even though it's just a website glitch, it's left the president in a defensive kind of position here when it's a shame that he couldn't be rolling out his signature policy initiative with some more confidence. >> he seemed confident to me, dana. i've got to say. he seemed very confident to me.
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>> well, i agree with joan on that one, dana. but, you know, let me take it to another part of this discussion. jim demint in his heritage foundation which led the shutdown charge has a new report out about obama care. let's talk about the policy. it finds in the report, quote, individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges. now, talking points memo found one rather glaring problem with that report from the heritage foundation. quote, this is talking memos, they didn't account for the financial help that the affordable care act gives uninsured people. in other words, they ignored the subsidies for millions of low-income families that's the central part of the law. millions of americans get help to buy insurance. i mean, that's the whole point of the law.
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so in all of this confusion that they're trying to cause, they're putting out outright lies, myths, and exaggerations which gets away from the point of the law which is why the law was enacted and was put through in the first place, joan. >> well, right. and ever since heritage has signed a report on immigration to a white supremacist, i don't think that their searches have credibility anymore. there was a problem with dhe report that it wasn't looking at subsidies. it was also comparing apples to oranges. it is raising the floor on our health insurance. it is requiring more from health insurance companies. it's not easy to get apples to apples comparisons. we're moving into a world where insurance companies are expected to do more for us. even if you're trying with good faith even if you were a nonprofit think tank that was really trying to explain this
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and study is, it's going to be hard to compare for awhile. we're going to be shaking -- this is going to be shaking out for a long time. but most people are going to get tax credits or subsidies. something like 60% of the people who come through these exchanges. other people are going to be covered by medicaid. so if republican governors will go along with that. so most people are going to be in much better shape. i'm sure there will be a few people who are paying more, but they may be paying more for a much, much better quality plan. >> you know, dana, i'll give you another example of these exaggerations. fox news recently did a segment about obama care with some people who claim the law was hurting them personally in their business. watch this. >> average americans, their families are also feeling the pain thanks to the health care overhaul train wreck. and six of them, they're here with us tonight. >> but salon, joan's website, followed up with some
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investigative work, the report titled inside the fox news lima sheen, i fact-checked sean hannity on obama care. and the reporter interviewed the people supposedly getting gouged by obama care. and it turned out none of them had even visited the insurance exchange. so they're jumping on anything because they never wanted the affordable care act known as obama care. >> that's right. and in that same report, this same fella who claimed he's cutting back on employees because obama care was actually misreading the law and wasn't required to do so in the first place. i think what's going on on the right now, it's sort of cynical which may surprise you just a little bit. but the idea is anything that goes bad in health care in america they feel they can make this president own. so if anybody's premiums have gone up, if anybody's lost their health care coverage, they're going to say that's because of obama care even though pretty much by definition, that couldn't be the case at this time. so what i was saying earlier is
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that it would be nice if the president and his administration could be making a more full throated case right now arguing for the merits. they've been hobbled by their own i.t. people inside hhs who have not allowed him to make that more assertive case. yeah, he was quite upbeat in the white house. i was there in the rose garden today. but it's just a shame that he's got this drag at the moment. he should be making a case for the policy. >> i agree with you it's a shame that he has to deal with this and someone ought to be held accountable. but as i said at the beginning of the show, i'm in chicago. i'm headed to new york tomorrow. even if it takes a route that's more out of the way than he could have had a smooth flight, i still keep in mind my destination is new york, not just a smooth ride. >> the key is in getting there. >> let's got get off the plane until we arrive at affordable
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health care for all americans. thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> thank you. still ahead, sore losers in the billionaire boys club. the koch brothers have been trying and failing to kill the health care law. wait until you hear their latest big money scheme. plus, dick cheney to the rescue. he left the white house with a 13 point approval rating. now he's back with some amazing words about the tea party. what could possibly go wrong? and the willie horton ad 25 years later. the ad that changed an election and american politics. how it is still effecting and infecting our politics to this very day. also, friend or foe, i want to know. reply al is ahead.
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have you joined the "politicsnation" conversation on facebook yet? today the president's big speech on the affordable care act dominated the conversation. terri says obama care has truly been a blessing for me. i'm so tired of the small percentage that want to take away our health care reform. dennis says how about using that $24 billion the gop squandered in the shutdown to get this thing up and running. nice idea. we want to hear what you think. please head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.
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the billionaire koch brothers failed in their bid to stop obama care by shutting down the government, so now they moved on to plan "b." attack the poor. "the new york times" reports charles and david koch are ramping up their fight to block states from expanding medicaid under the law. they can't win in washington, so they're trying to win out there in the state with the flood of their. the latest battle is in virginia where 400,000 people would go without coverage if medicaid wasn't expanded.
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groups in virginia are crashing town halls and flooding state offices with mail that even republicans are calling deceptive and intimidating. it's totally immoral. two billionaires doing everything they can to keep poor people from getting insurance. i mean, how low is that? these are the same guys who are funding those creepy uncle sam ads telling young people not to get insured. >> i see you chose to sign up for obama care. >> yeah, it's actually my first time here. >> well, here we are then. change into a gown and the doctor will see you soon. >> the koch brothers have spent millions to promote their far right agenda. they're behind right wing groups like freedom works, americans for prosperity, and generation
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opportunity. these organizations have funneled millions of dollars to tea party candidates and groups who share one set of goals. stop president obama. but this effort to deny health insurance to poor people in virginia may be their lowest move yet. joining me now is congressman l alan grayson. thank you for being here tonight, congressman. >> thank you. >> it is pretty unseemly for the billionaires so people kbt have health insurance. >> that the federal government would pay for entirely simply because the tallahassee republicans and governor scott won't go along with it. we pay our taxes to washington, d.c. we get this coverage in return, and they are preventing that from happening. so 1 million floridians are going to go without health
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insurance and a certain number of them are going to tie because of that. the koch brothers are responsible, the republicans are responsible. they all will have blood on their hands. >> but, you know, it was interesting congressman. ten republican governors have caved on the medicaid expansion. we learned governor kasich has won his choice. he koch brothers are still fighting this, but aren't more and more states seeing that expanding medicaid is the way to go? >> well, you'd have to be a fool to think otherwise. we're talking here about the poorest of the working poor. that's what this expansion covers. it's people who make the lowest and they don't have children. and they still have to work and they can't afford the coverage either way. you ask part-time why don't you have coverage, they'll say
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because we can't afford it. treating everybody the same and means republicans have to insinuate themselves and prevent 5 million people from getting the coverage they deserve. >> you know, koch-sponsored organizations are also hosting, listen to this they're going further with hosting events for college students on college campuses to get young people to reject the affordable care act. they host pizza parties, dance parties with deejays. they'll hand out beer koozies that read opt out. they're going all out with trying to turn young people off of something that young people really need. >> my advice to them is to drink their beer, eat their pizza and then sign up for the care. in many cases this care costs less than $100 a month.
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it's less than my cable bill. and they need it. if they get in a motorcycle accident, car accident like so many young people do, they'll need that coverage. and they'll be glad they did. >> this is really billionaires versus poor people. in fact, president obama recently called out billionaires like the koch brothers. watch this. >> some of the tea party's biggest donors, some of the wealthiest men in america are funding a cynical ad campaign trying to convince young people not to buy health care at all. i mean, think about it. these are billionaires several times over, you know they've got good health care. >> now, to be fair, they're not only spending their money in this area, congressman. they have reportedly owned 2 million acres of land in alberta. if the keystone pipeline is expanded, the koch brothers
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stand to make $200 billion in profits. isn't it what makes them to benefit them. >> the republican party's creed these days is let's take every tax break and every bailout, every permit like the keystone permit. let's take every government contract and put it up to the highest bidder. not for the public or treasury, but their own campaign contributions. and that's the way they do business. from eric cantor on down. >> congressman alan grayson, thank you. we reached out to the koch brothers on this story, but they declined to comment. thank you for your time tonight. coming up, beaten by president obama, how do republicans dig themselves out of the hole they dug?
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more sarah palin and ted cruz? i don't think so. but first, nice try got ya tonight. senator marco rubio is all wet, and we got him. that's next. start up like this... or like this... and hit the start button to flip back and forth. you can make the important things big, keep the small stuff small, and arrange it all around you. you can be all work with office, all play, or even both at the same time. you can do it all simpler and easier on your windows tablet, pc, or surface. that's the new windows: one experience for everything in your life. you may have heard there's a new rinse that talks about protecting, even after eating and drinking. crest pro-health has always done that. it's clinically proven to fight plaque and gingivitis. rinsing with pro-health after brushing can take your oral health to a new level.
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time for a "politicsnation" pop quiz. what do these words have in common? mess, disaster, failure, debacle. any guesses? they were all used to describe the gop's shutdown strategy. a failed strategy supported by senator marco rubio. a rising star in the republican party. and a guy talked about as a possible presidential candidate. so what does the gop star do
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now? he runs away from it as fast as he can. watch this sprint into action. >> i never was in favor of shutting down the government. i was never in favor of defunding the government. i was in favor of funding the government fully. >> he was never in favor of shutting down the government? so i must have just dreamt he was right next to ted cruz during that 21-hour let's shut down the government over obama care phony filibuster speech thing. maybe that green eggs and ham just gave me nightmares. and i guess that big vote, you know, the one where senator rubio voted against reopening the government, it was just a big misunderstanding. and this must have been the summer heat getting to him. >> i believe that we should not vote nor pass a continuing resolution unless that continuing resolution defunds obama care. we should not pass a continuing resolution and i will not vote for a continuing resolution
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unless it defunds obama care. >> translation there, i will shut down the government unless i get my way. why does marco rubio think he can rewrite history? it's like trying to tell us he doesn't like water. like saying he never made an awkward reach for a bottle of spring on national tv. senator rubio, did you think we wouldn't notice that you're watering down the facts? nice try, but this one's on us because we got you.
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better eggs. it's eb. the tea party is sinking the republican party, and there's even talk of democrats winning back the house. and, oh, yeah. ted cruz isn't exactly winning any popularity contests. >> on a human level, that's got
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to bother you to be sitting in an institution like the senate and having your not democrats, fellow republicans so angry at you. >> how much do your colleagues just despise you right now on the floor? i hear really strong language. >> senator, good to see you. what's it like to be the most hated man in america? >> that's an average interview for senator cruz. thanks for joining me, let me ask you why do people hate you. but here's the thing to the republican extremist base, he's a rock star. this week he received an eight-minute standing ovation at an event in texas. and he's getting presidential buzz because of a trip to iowa later this week. but he's not the only one stoking the tea party base. sarah palin's out with a new op-ed blasting d.c.'s corrupt basta bastard's club and establishment republicans.
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this is all bad for the republicans, right? well, not everyone agrees. >> you've said in the past that the tea party is a good influence. do you still feel that way? >> i do. we've got a terrible track record about federal spending. rather see them in the party than out of the party. >> that's right, america. dick cheney, the man who left office with 13% approval rating, thinks the tea party is a-okay. keep it going, republicans, keep it going. joining me now are patricia murphy and james peterson. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> patricia, doesn't this eight-minute standing ovation for ted cruz show how disconnected the gop base is from the rest of the country? >> well, sure, it does. because if you look at any recent polls about who americans blame for the recent shutdown
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about which party they trust me at this point to run the federal government, about whether they want the federal government to be open or not, polls show that americans, democrat and republican alike blame everything that happened on the conservative base of the republican party. but if you look at that standing ovation and look at the details in that, the base of the republican party feel great about what just happened. and they feel particularly good about ted cruz. while this has hurt republicans generally and not necessarily conservative republicans, but just pragmatic republicans, this has only helped ted cruz. i think his fund raising and when we see the numbers, will be humongous. i think when he goes to iowa he will be hailed as a hero. and i think this has only been to the better for ted cruz. but democrarepublicans i've spo are worried about the future of their party. >> what's unsettling for most is that the sarah palins and the
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ted cruzs and the tea party seems to be driving the whole gop party. i mean, you could have a functional car, but if you have someone at the wheel that can't drive, you're going over the cliff. >> that's right, rev. and it looks as if they will continue to drive for the foreseeable future. and the irony in that is texas happens to be one of those states that extracts more, they take more from the federal government than they actually give in taxes. so they're supporting this movement that's not really conscientious about the ways in which federal funding and taxation works even in their own state. and it's kind of that level of ignorance that drives some of the sort of excitement around political support for tea party candidates. it's not about reality, it's not about the facts. you know, sometimes it's just about their ideology. and their positions. and i think part of what we're seeing, though, and it's interesting to see how this develops. some people have referred to
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them as moderate republicans, but they've lashed out a little bit at the heritage foundation and their former senator jim demint. they're lashing out privately at senator ted cruz. which means moderate republicans believe that the long game here that ted cruz is trying to play ultimately has too much collateral damage within the republican party for them to stomach at this point. >> and patricia, the results are voters are realizing the gop is not mainstream. 56% say the gop is too extreme while 60% say the tea spaert too extreme. and the gop civil war is hurting the republicans. and that's good news for democrats. 54% now say gop control of the house is bad for the country. and according to a new ppp poll, democrats have the opportunity to pick up seats in 49 out of 61 house races.
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>> well, i think if the election were tomorrow, those numbers would be absolutely true. i think there's a lot that's going to happen between now and the election. that's why democrats are more than happy for ted cruz to run out way aid head of the gop and keep talking. he distracts quite a bit from what's going on. when the conversation's about ted cruz, democrats could not be happier. but i do think in states like georgia, states like louisiana, kentucky, where there are strong even business friendly democrats running for the senate in what would otherwise be very republican friendly states, i think the last month have been bad for those candidates who are running. but i think as long as the conversation is about ted cruz, democrats are thrilled because it distracts from the rollout of obama care, from a lot of things that most americans have a lot of anxiety over. as long as we're talking about ted cruz, that is going to win the day for democrats. >> but even when you see, james, republicans try to take cruz on, there's the backlash from these
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far right wingers. for example, an established figure like jeb bush, he criticized ted cruz for his efforts to defund health care. listen to this. >> have a little bit of self-restraint. it might actually be a politically better approach to see the massive dysfunction, but we don't even hear about that because we've stepped on that message. and i think republicans need to just take a step back and allow, show a little self-restraint and let this happen more organically. >> but almost immediately, glenn beck took offense at jeb bush's attacks on ted cruz. listen to this. >> if you guys would not have been shooting at ted cruz, you could have been showing the world how bad it was. and if i just may point out that maybe it's time to stop listening to the bushs. are we really going to go down the jeb bush road now?
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is that where we're going to we went down the george h.w. road and now the jeb bush road? >> isn't this the problem, that the rush limbaughs and the glenn becks, they attack any voices in the party that advises restraint. >> it is part of the problem. you know, they have this authenticity litmus test. they love to refer to these republicans as rhinos. republicans in name only. sadly, there's not really any place in the republican party right now for jeb bush. you know, a pro-immigration, almost moderate bush brand name republican doesn't have much place. the tea party is at times anti-bush, and certainly when you look at this pivot the president has made towards immigration, it poses an incredible challenge for the republican party. because the far right doesn't seem to want to come to the table and have this negotiation. but the moderate and more pragmatic republicans understand the future of the party in some
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way rests with this republican caucus' capacity to show they can support immigration reform. the president's in a win/win situation right now for that. he's going to push for comprehensive immigration reform. his tea partiers will resist that. and the american people will wonder why it is that the republican party once again is constricting the tent, closing their tent instead of expanding the base. >> you know, patricia, james, i'll end how i started. dick cheney who left the white house with 13% approval rating endorses the tea party. well, in the spirit of halloween, they'll have to decide if it's a trick or a treat. patricia murphy and james peterson, thank you for your time this evening. >> thanks, rev. >> thank you. still ahead, the willie horton ad 25 years later. the political ad that changed american history. and not for the better. how the ugly spread of that ad is alive and well on the right in the age of obama.
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plus, why dick cheney wrote his own resignation letter way back in 2001. what was that about? stay with us. [ woman #1 ] why do i cook?
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bush versus dukakis. the race was close and it got ugly. a group for president bush released the willie horton ad. claiming michael dukakis was soft on crime. >> bush and dukakis on crime. bush supports the death penalty for first degree murderers. dukakis allowed first degree murderers to have weekend passes from prison. one was willie horton who stabbed a boy 19 times. despite a life sentence, horton received ten weekend passes from prison. horton fled, kidnapped a young couple, stabbing the man and repeatedly raping his girlfriend. weekend prison passes, dukakis on crime. >> it was the so-called southern strategy at its worst. using horton's mug shot to pray on racial fears and stereotypes. even though 45 states and the federal government had laws allowing furloughs.
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the ad was put out by an independent group, but the bush campaign let it happen refusing to condemn the ad for 25 days. then they put out a similar ad of their own. >> his revolving door prison policy gave weekend passes to murderers. while out many committed other crimes like kidnapping and rape. many are still at large. now michael dukakis says he wants to do for america what he's done for massachusetts. america can't afford that risk. >> political analysts say these ads had a huge impact convincing voters dukakis was out of the political mainstream. that he couldn't be trusted. the bad news for our politics has been that the tactics of the willie horton ad live on. joining me now are joe madison and jimmy williams. thank you both for being here.
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>> thank you, reverend sharpton. >> jimmy, 25 years since the willie horton ad, you remember the ad. how important was it? >> i absolutely remember it, and i was a -- let's see. i was a junior in college. i actually can't believe i admitted that on air, but i do remember. and it was pretty striking to think that that was being played across the country. it was especially striking in the south. the south at that point was solidly republican, but there were definitely pockets of democrats still down there. and that ad alone changed the course of that race. it absolutely changed the course. it made white americans, especially white southerners, raise an eyebrow and think we can't have a man from massachusetts releasing, quote, black criminals all across the country and letting them rape our white women and children. that was the point of that ad. that's exactly what that was. now, i would like to take that and sort of put it here today and think of it from this
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perspective. remember if a black democratic candidate with a white william horton against a white candidate. imagine the outcry you'd hear. racism. it's tough when the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it. >> and we're seeing subtleties now. but joe madison, new yorker reports the willie horton ad creator of that ad, he tricked tv stations into approving the ad by creating two versions of it. quote from the article, the first which he submitted for review lacked the mug shot. once the ad had been approved, he replaced it with a version containing a photo of horton. doesn't this prove that he knew how toxic this was? >> absolutely. because as you know, a photograph says a thousand words. i mean, you are 100% correct.
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and what jimmy just described when he gave the scenario about the white democrat, black democrat is what is called transference. and this is what we see now. you see it with the tea party. you see it in cable news shows and that's where i will call you what i am before you call me that. it's called transference. it's an old debate technique. and the difference today, of course, is that now we have a few things. one, big money financing these ads or similar ads, two, you've got this thing called the internet or social media. so anyone can put this together, but finally, you have now the southern strategy that is full
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blown and full grown. >> now, willie -- jimmy, i'm sorry. jimmy, when you deal with the willie horton ad, that was in my mind willie. when you deal with the ad, lee atwater, he gloated about the willie horton connection saying maybe michael dukakis will put this willie horton on the ticket. now, let's remember, it was atwater who made no secret of how effective he thought it was to use coded racism to win votes. just listen to him in this audio clip from 1991. >> you start out in 1954 by saying [ bleep ]. by 1968 you can't say [ bleep ], that hurts you, backfires. so you say things like bussing, states rights and all that stuff. all this stuff are totally economic things. and blacks get hurt worse than whites. >> so this is an intentional
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political strategy. >> it'd be one thing if that was 1981. it would be one thing if none of these ads, if that was just that one time it happened. but that's not the case. remember what jesse helms did? remember what they did to our own herald ford jr. when we put the white woman saying call me, herald. that was nothing more than a way to strike fear in white men and women to say my gosh, he's going to take our white women. they've done it to numerous candidates. they did it to barack obama. the food stamp president. how much more explicit can you get? >> and that's the real point, joe. is that this started back in the '80s and has become more subtle. but in some ways today with the president and others that are still trying to deal with this.
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>> oh, yeah, now. look, we have photographs that show the first family as primates and people try to say that's not racist. witch doctor, that, again -- we forget about these things five, six years ago. but let me also point out, good people don't say anything. they keep quiet. 50 years ago in july, we had a young catholic president who did not kiss the pope's ring, which is customary, because he was afraid of the backlash he would get as a catholic. so all of this expands, whether it's women, catholics, we forget, italians, irish. we're all treated just like black people. and tifinally, remember that what's his name, he actually apologized on his death bed. >> lee atwater.
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>> lee atwater, on his death bed because he knew what he had done and apologized to ron brown, the first chairman of the democratic party on his death bed. >> i'm going to have to leave it there. joe madison and jimmy williams, thank you both for your time tonight. we'll be right back.
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tonight, how can we fight to end the violence in our cities? including in this great town of chicago? that's next.
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finally tonight, i want to talk about reducing the violence in our cities. i'm here in chicago where the violence has taken a horrific toll on the community. just this past weekend at least seven people were wounded in shootings. and so far this year, 350 people have been murdered. but people here in this great city are fighting hard to turn it around and are getting results. homicides are actually down 18% from last year. it's a start. but we have a long way to go. and the people here need help. that's why we've rented an apartment in the chicago's west side and plan to stay out here once a week for the next couple of months. people that will join me at some point include martin luther king iii who was inspired by the examples set by his father dr. martin luther king jr. who moved into a chicago apartment himself
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47 years ago. my new neighbors were gracious and welcoming. and i look forward to working with them on national problems, because as chicago turns it around, it can be a model for every city and village in this country. we need to know about the people in the trenches that are working every day mentoring young people, talking to them. we need to know about poverty and how that becomes something that creates a climate of desperation. and how we must challenge young people to rise above those that have no expectations for them. i spent this weekend talking with those in the trenches that are willing to fight and that are getting results. and i want to highlight them and put a national limelight on it. i talk a lot about renewing our cities and the power of activism in my new book

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